Telecommunications companies keep making life difficult for consumers to terminate their services. In spite of various calls to stop these practices, including in calls in Parliament the telecommunications companies in Malta seem to proceed with such practices.
The practice is that they make it very simple to register for their service but introduce unclear and cumbersome procedures to terminate such services. MaltaWinds is informed that Melita Plc, for example, refuses to terminate services by phone whilst one may add services by a simple call. To add insult to injury when customers turn up at their outlets with decoders,they just refused to take them stating that their own representatives need to come to the place where the decoder was installed. This happens after various calls requesting them to do so. Melita Plc is not the only case. Go Plc makes its difficult part as well. It seems that customers are made to sign a declaration. According to the same company the termination of service is a service itself and customers are to accept their terms and conditions including the relative fees. If this declaration is not signed Go Plc refuses to terminate the service and continues to send bills.
Spiteful practices are not new in this industry and to date the Regulator has failed to stop permanently such practices. Whilst one appreciates that there is tough competition in the sector, it seems that this practice has turned to be a sort of cartel. Internet, mobiles and television are nowadays no longer considered to be a luxury. Consumers should be free to choose and switch supplier whenever they wish. It is already hard to understand how the Regulator allows such disproportionate penalties on termination of contracts, calculation of which is never understood by the consumer. If added to these penalties one adds such unethical and inappropriate clauses or practices then the regulator may be said to be inexistent in this sense.
Recently there has been considerable complaints also on the level of internet service at certain hours of the day. It has been claimed that even this is related to the introduction of competing services or online namely Netflix. Quite obviously this has been denied but reality is that there was a slowdown that to date no plausible explanations were given. In the scenario above it is rather difficult to believe that this was not yet another move to refrain persons from shifting services.
Telecommunication companies should continue their investment in improving services and not in irritating people and making them lose time in their already busy schedule. MCA should be more vigilant in this sense.